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Butternut Squash Soup with an Anti-Inflammatory Quality

Butternut Squash Soup 

Cool, autumn weather always stirs up soup making in our kitchen! Tonight was one of those nights when we turned to warming flavors, and aromas.

This year's butternut squash crop was not very prolific compared to past seasons. We harvested only a dozen winter squash compared to last year's two bushels!  I used two of these curvy, orange beauties when making tonight’s dinner.

I gave it an anti-inflammatory “flavor” by adding ingredients commonly known to reduce inflammation; ingredients that also pair well with beta-carotene-rich butternut squash and carrots. It always needs to be delicious, too! (I asterisked and gave citations for all of the ingredients known to pack valuable, natural anti-inflammatory properties. Thank you, Mother Nature!)

Consider pairing this soup with an easy salad of romaine, arugula, and barely steamed green beans for crunch. Sprinkle with sea salt and garlic powder; drizzle with olive oil, spritz with lemon. Yield: 4 Servings

Squash Ginger and Turmeric

Ingredients

• 1 large or 2 small (approx. 4 lbs) of butternut squash*, peeled, seeded, chopped [1, 2]
• 3 medium carrots*, scrubbed, chopped [1]
• 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, chopped
• Water
• 2 tsp of refined coconut oil
• 1 large onion, peeled, chopped
• 2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh ginger, peeled, chopped (approximately 2 Tbsp)* [3,4]
• 2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh turmeric, peeled, chopped (approximately 2 Tbsp)* [5]
• 4 large cloves of garlic*, peeled, minced [6]
• 1/2 tsp ground ceylon cinnamon* (also called Sri Lankan cinnamon) [7]
• 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp ground sweet or hot paprika (depending on your "heat" preference)* [8]
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 3/4 of block of creamed coconut, cut into chunks
• Juice of 1/2 lemon
• 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

Butternut Soup in Progress

Directions

1. Place butternut squash, carrots and apple in a large, stainless steel pot with lid; add enough water just to cover ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat, covered, until fork tender.

2. Heat coconut oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add onion to skillet and sauté for a few minutes stirring occasionally (oil should be hot enough to make onions sizzle a bit but not so hot that it smokes). Add ginger and turmeric and sauté only a couple of more minutes.

3. Add sautéed onion/ginger/turmeric and the rest of the ingredients to the squash mixture.

4. Blend well using an emersion blender.

5. Heat through but don't boil.

6. Taste and add more cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika or sea salt if desired.

7. Ladle into bowls and lightly sprinkle with paprika.  You can also sprinkle with shelled, toasted pumpkin seeds for a tasty garnish.

NOTE:  If you don't have an emersion blender, you can use a full size regular blender. However, first cool the soup down a bit. Only fill the blender jar halfway and then cover with a heavy towel, not the lid. This video explains why.

References

[1] Exp Mol Med. 2005 Aug 31;37(4):323-34

[2] Squash, Winter: World’s Healthiest Foods, The George Mateljan Foundation

[3] J Med Food. 2005 Summer;8(2):125-32

[4]  Ginger: World’s Healthiest Foods, The George Mateljan Foundation

[5] Inflammation. 2011 Aug;34(4):291-301

[6]  Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Aug;58:545-51

[7]  Food Funct. 2015 Mar;6(3):910-9

[8]  Surg Neurol Int. 2010; 1: 80; Published online 2010 Dec 13


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